Verdict from 8 experts and 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Some consumers have mentioned that the shoelaces of the Brooks Caldera 4 are able to stay tied, even during intense activities.
  • This trail running shoe offers steady foot-to-surface control on the irregular terrains, based on a handful of reviews.
  • According to several testers, the upper unit has breathability that is noticeable and accommodating.
  • The stack height of the underfoot platform is welcomed because it is not too thick nor detrimental to the balance of the foot.
  • Traction is an aspect of this Brooks running shoe that people appreciate and trust.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A few testers have noted that the lateral side of the forefoot rubs the side of the toes.
  • Some people have stated that the toe box could benefit from an anti-abrasion bumper that is more substantial than the overlay that is present.

Bottom line

The Brooks Caldera 4 is a running shoe that is welcomed by those who have tested it. The design and construction of this product are appreciated because they apparently build on the aspects of the previous versions, particularly the Caldera 3 model. The foot-to-platform balance and in-shoe security are highlighted. Inversely, the irritating in-shoe sleeve and the limited toe protection are criticized.

Fans of off-road performance shoes can enjoy the Brooks Caldera 4.


Tip: see the best trail running shoes.

Good to know

  • The Brooks Caldera 4 is an update to a series of shoes designed for the trails. The upper unit has been updated to keep up with the technologies that help to make the in-shoe experience as comfortable as possible. Engineered mesh graces the silhouette, as well as a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) overlay system.
  • Underfoot support still relies on the in-house BioMoGo technology, while the surface grip is given by the grippy and durable TrailTack rubber. These trail-optimized elements work together to provide confident performances.

The outsole unit of the Brooks Caldera 4 features the TrailTack compound. This technology is meant to provide this running shoe with responsible traction, especially when tackling upward and downward traversals. Also, it has been touted to be durable enough to withstand the harsh effects of surface exposure and continued use.

Gripping lugs pockmark the surface of the rubber outsole. These protrusions are tasked with providing extra traction on the unpredictable terrains. The mix of horizontal and vertical lines permit this shoe to go up and down the outdoor topography with ease and confidence. Each lug clamps the ground, delivering balance that the foot needs to enable constant support and the prevention of position-related injury.

BioMoGo DNA is the technology that is used for the midsole of the Brooks Caldera 4. This full-length cushioning unit is tasked with providing shock attenuation and push-off power during each step. The material itself is made of environment-friendly foam that naturally degrades post-usability. The topmost section is configured to follow the natural shape of the underfoot, giving extra buttressing to the arch, a portion that is not usually given any attention. BioMoGo DNA is used in many Brooks products, including the stability running shoe line, the Ravenna.

A cushioned insole is situated right on top of the primary midsole piece. This element is meant to put a bit more oomph to the underfoot experience, generating a softness that can better the running session. It can be detached or alternated with a new one if the runner wants to do so.

The upper unit of the Brooks Caldera 4 has been updated to feature the engineered mesh technology, a cloth-like accouterment that aims to evoke the feeling of being wrapped in a sock. The seamless construction of this material prevents hot spots from cropping up and causing chafing or blistering. Breathing holes that pockmark its silhouette allow air to ventilate the in-shoe environment and maintain a breezy ride.

An overlay system made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is used to provide the rest of the silhouette with structural support. The thin prints that serve as the layers that cover some areas of the upper are tasked with bolstering durability and aesthetics. They are also favorable when it comes to delivering a secure fit, mainly assisting the lacing system and the fabrics in keeping the foot in place.

A traditional lacing system is adopted for this product. Flat shoelaces snake through discreet, print-reinforced eyelets on the roof of the upper unit. These elements permit the runner to adjust the tightness or looseness of the wrap.

A lace keeper is placed on the tongue unit, and it’s meant to stow the tied laces. Such a feature can prevent lace-unraveling and tripping.

A gaiter attachment tab is added to the heel part of the upper. This hook-and-loop accouterment can permit the use of separately purchased gaiters, thus generating extra protection from trail debris and wetness.

The padded tongue and collar are created for the comfort of the topmost portions of the foot. They also prevent accidental shoe removals and in-shoe wobbling.

A pull tab helps to facilitate the foot inside, or out of, the shoe during the on-and-off experience.


How Brooks Caldera 4 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 3% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 17% Brooks running shoes
All Brooks running shoes
Top 4% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Brooks Caldera 4.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.